I know that Bob Kane created The Bat-Man in 1939, and that his first appearance was in Detective Comics #27 in May of the same year. I know that there was a world that existed before Batman was created.
But I can’t remember life without Batman.
I don’t remember learning Batman was Bruce Wayne. I don’t remember learning about the fateful night of Thomas and Martha Wayne’s murder. I don’t remember learning about the Batcave, the Batmobile, or the infamous Rogues Gallery.
I just know.
There are works that have defined Batman. Shaped who and what Batman is. Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One. Jeph Loeb’s Long Halloween, Dark Victory, and Hush. Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke. A Death in the Family. Batman: The Animated Series.
In Batman Begins, Bruce Wayne realizes he can’t fight injustice as a man:
People need dramatic examples to shake them out of apathy and I can’t do that as Bruce Wayne. As a man, I’m flesh and blood, I can be ignored, I can be destroyed, but as a symbol… As a symbol I can be incorruptible, I can be everlasting.
Batman is a symbol. He is legend. He is modern myth. A god in the pop culture pantheon.
With the power of myth comes the ability to have different incarnations, live different lives, have completely different universes surrounding you. DC does a fairly good job of keeping their continuity in line with the Infinite Crisis arcs. It’s basically a giant bookend that closes the door on what has been so it can open the door to what will be.
I watched the 60s Batman. I watched Super Friends. I watched Tim Burton’s Batman and Batman Returns. I watched the animated series. I watched the animated movies. I even watched Joel Schumacher’s Batman Forever and Batman & Robin.
So much for an incorruptible symbol.
Batman never lets me down, and I’m able to embrace the character with all the flaws that have been heaped upon him through the years. Most recently, Christopher Nolan took the helm of the film franchise and revived it amazingly. Batman fans can once again hold their heads high and say they’re proud of their hero.
We all need heroes, someone to save us, despite our protests. We need people and ideals we can look up to, that can help us be better than we are. Even if these people and ideals are flawed, it’s important to have them. The day you stop trying to make yourself better is the day you start to become worse.
That’s one thing about Batman from which we can all learn. He is never satisfied with where he is or how good things have gotten. He strives to a higher standard, and always pushes himself further.
A new year, with new challenges and new opportunities. I’m proud to say that I’m going back to school to get a bachelor’s degree in Film. While it’s not far off from my Theatre major, I’ve always loved making movies and I’m excited at the prospect of becoming more technically proficient at it. I feel different about school in general, too. I don’t feel like I’m squaring off against an adversary, but rather like I’m meeting an old friend. I’m sure there will be times that are harder than others, but I’m looking forward to classes, and I feel like I want to be there, which is honestly not a feeling I’ve ever had about college.
So yes, 2013 is a new year, with new outlooks, new opportunities, and… newborns.
That’s right, everyone. I’m going to be a father.
Whoa. Just reading that made me gleeful, terrified, anticipatory, stressed, excited, worried, teary, “and a little gassy.”
Seriously. The wife and I just talked about how we’re officially in the third trimester. Our little bundle of awesome mini-us is due in late April, and her name is Joely Jane. I’ve seen pictures of the kid, and I must say, she’s pretty cute.
Now all I need is a shotgun, and I’ll be set. Well, not exactly. I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but when you learn you’re going to be a parent, there’s a shift that occurs that lets you see the world in a way that’s different from any view you’ve had before. It replenishes the wonder. You start looking at everything with this strange mix of professor/bodyguard mentalities.
“That’s so fascinating!”
“That’s SO dangerous.”
“I want to look closer.”
“Do you want to DIE?”
Really, I just can’t wait to meet this little girl. Hold her in my arms, kiss her sweet face, smell that heavenly fresh-baked smell. She’s going to rule my world with a chubby fist. She’s got throngs of family and friends who are eagerly anticipating her arrival as well. Everyone we’ve talked to about the kid is so excited for us, which is awesome. It’s multifaceted, I’m sure. Everyone loves a baby, everyone loves someone pregnant, and everyone loves an underdog.
For a long time, Aubrey and I weren’t sure we were ever going to get to be parents. We tried for three years to conceive, with no luck. It was heart-wrenching and exhausting. We had seen doctors at our local women’s health office, and they referred us to a reproductive endocrinologist last summer. After a few months with little progress, we looked at each other and really accepted the possibility that we might never have kids. We decided that it wouldn’t be the end of the world. We loved each other, we had a great life, a great marriage, and we could make our future whatever we wanted. After three years of suffocating under infertility’s weight, we were finally breathing again.
That’s when we got the wind knocked out of us by a positive pregnancy test.
The amazing thing we thought would never happen to us happened! We had no choice but to laugh and shake our heads about the timing. Of course we would get pregnant right after we decided we would be fine without kids. When we announced the pregnancy, the outpouring of love, encouragement, and congratulations was overwhelming. Most of the people in our lives knew this was something we were dealing with, so their investment in our struggle only added to their payoff from our victory over it.
We’ve been excited for all the ultrasound appointments we’ve had, getting to see our little girl move around, suck her thumb, and even look straight “into the camera.” I’ve loved that Aubrey’s bump has been growing more and more noticeable. I rub it, talk to it, sing to it, read to it. I know my little girl is just below the surface, listening to me and kicking her mom in the guts when she gets excited. (Sorry, honey.)
All at once I feel like April can’t come soon enough, and like there’s not enough time in the world between now and then. So much to do to get ready for this kid. Our baby shower (that’s right, OUR baby shower; it’s coed and we’re both really stoked for it) isn’t until March, which is good because we haven’t finished registering yet, and bad because we won’t know what we have and what we still need until about six weeks before Joely hits the scene.
I’m not really worried about it, but it would be nice for Aubrey to have something to nest with during her nesting phase. What I am worried about is the crazy rush to get everything home, take stock and buy whatever’s missing, and put it all together before the Eagle has landed; not to mention that this will all be between Spring Break and Finals.
This year will be rife with opportunities for personal growth. One of those will be to personally shrink a little. I know, it’s a cliché goal, especially at the onset of a new year. But I have medical reasons for it, and I think it can only help me to be more active with Joely once she becomes mobile. I have goals to write a blog post every week, write more in general, read more, cook, create something with my hands… It’s an impressive list. That was important to me when compiling my list of goals for this year. I want to shoot for a lot of big things, so that even if I fall short, I can look back at the year and say, “I did some cool stuff.”
I was watching the show Dinner for Five, and in one episode, someone says, “Whatever you do, you do better when you have kids.” That was very inspiring to me. I want to do what I do better because I’ll have a little one looking up to me.